NHS privatisation in England has increased dramatically since the Health and Social Care Act was passed in 2012. The most recent official figures show that in 2013-14 the NHS paid £6.6bn to private healthcare firms – the equivalent of £18m a day. But despite this huge outlay, there is still no evidence that the private sector is any better, more efficient or cost effective.
Indeed, there have been some spectacular contract failures – Circle at Hinchingbrooke hospital, Serco with Suffolk’s community services, and Arriva and the North West Ambulance Service to name but a few.
With more demands on the NHS, the health service needs stability, and its increasingly stretched health workers need security. They don’t need to be worrying about their pay or their pension being eroded by private equity speculators, or indeed whether they’ll still have a job if the contract fails.
We also have the disturbing situation where many of the 200-plus bodies in England that plan, source and oversee healthcare in their local areas are seeking advice from the very organisations that stand to profit hugely from outsourcing. It’s hardly surprising that these clinical commissioning groups are increasingly awarding contracts outside the NHS…read more